I’ll tell you a short, yet very relevant story about a girl and a guy whose paths crossed a little too late, but hey, better late than never.
It was June of 2011 and the girl sat glued to her computer, talking to the guy for the first time. They’d been Internet friends for a while thanks to one of the greatest groups on Facebook, but had never really communicated outside those walls. She admired his wit and his trouble-causer status on there and would find herself hitting ‘like’ on almost all of his publications. You’d probably call it stalking, but for her, it was more of an acknowledgement of ideas she would naturally have projected. He probably only did it better with a touch of sarcasm here and a drop of wit there. They finally started talking and have not stopped ever since.
In the few weeks that followed, she grew excited as she was going back home for the first time after leaving for studies. It had been almost two years and she couldn’t wait to see her family and friends again. The only person missing was her best-friend and she wondered what the three-month holiday would be like without her. She shared plans with the guy and together, they counted down to the D-Day. She contacted him a day after her arrival and they exchanged the usual pleasantries. See, this girl was a really shy one, despite the brave and rather outgoing persona she makes the world see. As such, she was nervous for their first meeting and wondered what it would be like. Was he as cool as he was online? What if they ended up having nothing to say? Would his bold nature make up for her shy one? The questions continued, even as she took the short walk to his place of work, which was just across the street from her home. Thankfully, their meeting was not awkward and was to be the first of many that summer and the next. His office ended up being one of her safe spots.
In those three months, they talked some more and would hang out often. He’d chide her for being lazy and she’d respond with the ‘I’m on a holiday’ line. He took her over to meet his family and she fell in love with his kids and appreciated the warm welcome from his wife. He got to meet hers too and that probably gave her a license to go out more (l0l). Her mother would stop worrying when she found out she was hanging out with him and other friends. That summer, they worked together on a project that probably saved the future state of the Gambia’s human resource base. They’d attend meetings and events together and she felt even more comfortable as the days went by. By the end of the holiday, she was reassured of having found not just a friend, but someone she could consider as family. See, that was even reinforced after his explanation of the whole ‘Family by chance’ and ‘Family by choice’ subject. That was just one of the many thought-provoking discussions they had. All was not rosy from start to end, but each challenge helped her build more trust in him. When it was time to leave, she could not say goodbye, for she was going to miss it all… the fun, the good times, the few but great moments with his family, the free rides etc.
For the next eight months, they kept in touch and she grew even closer to him. See, she grew so fond of him that her friends felt it was more than just a friendship. She was just glad she had found an adult she could talk to about everything and get matured advice and encouragement when she needed it. Summer came again, and she packed her bags and headed home, this time keeping it a secret from him. It was meant to be a surprise and to this day, she cracks up at the look on his face when she walked in at RV rehearsals, unannounced. His crazy self kept his distance, because as he said, he didn’t talk to ghosts. Give it an hour or so and she abandoned the friend she’d come with and followed him. If the previous summer was great, this one was even better. More hangouts, better conversations, more frequent visits to his family and a beautiful meeting of great young women, who all found comfort, solace and strength in him. They’d have great fun on the rides in his car to/from rehearsals, share the most random moments, crash into his home without notice and just live life with little worry. That summer too, she had the chance to work with his sister and help change the lives of a grand number of girls. These experiences and many more got the three months flying past and she was very sad to leave.
Yesterday he asked how long it’d been since they’d last seen each other and she replied in months, days and hours. It might have sounded a bit weird or probably even creepy, but she’s a bit obsessed with detail and loves to keep track of dates. She’s missed him everyday since she left and was sad she couldn’t be there to share his pain two weeks ago. She keeps the hope that he understands how special he is and how much of a blessing he is to all who know him. Familiar story huh?
Well that guy was none but you. I may sometimes come off as very unpredictable and sometimes act in favour of your thesis that I am bipolar, but you know how to handle it all. Sometimes I wished I’d known you earlier, but again am thankful for meeting you, especially at this time. I am grateful for the care, the honesty, the lessons, the comfort, the strength and all else that cannot be named. Thank you for believing in me! You have been really amazing and we all count ourselves lucky to have you in our lives. I miss you and can’t wait for another summer! EEE 🙂